How to Deadlift

How to Deadlift

Most people are unsure of whether a deadlift is a “back” or “leg” exercise. In a real sense, it should be classified as an all-round exercise. &nbs

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Most people are unsure of whether a deadlift is a “back” or “leg” exercise. In a real sense, it should be classified as an all-round exercise.


A deadlift is considered a great exercise because it involves the use of all muscles in your body. It isn’t called the “King of lifts” for no reason. In a nutshell, a deadlift is just about lifting something and putting it back down. It is very easy to do and is one of the best strength building and muscle growing exercise out there.


When done correctly, deadlift would help strengthen all the muscles and bones in your body. The primary muscles it targets are the muscles that run from your neck to heels. Also, deadlift helps to improve your core stability to the maximum, while testing the force of your grip strength.


It works by picking out a chink in your body functionality that you need to work on if you are going to have any hopes of lifting heavyweights. For this reason, you must start your deadlift with light weights, and progress to heavier ones the moment you have mastered your technique to the fullest.


The deadlift is a perfect addition to your workout routine if you only engage in mirror muscle training. Mirror muscle training involves you just focusing on the front of your body – chest, quads, and abs – while neglecting your lower back and the muscles on the rear of your body. Practicing this would cause an imbalance in your physique, and this can eventually lead to injury because your muscle strength isn’t balanced.


However, the barbell deadlift is the perfect remedy for this, because it targets all the posterior chain of muscles in your body, starting from your neck down to your hamstrings. It also helps to trigger more muscle fibers than other moves like glute raises.


Deadlift and its variations is an excellent addition to those who engage in sports activities because it works on the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings, and this is very important for activities that require maximum leg strength and functionality. These muscles also come into play when you engage in activities like cycling and swimming. Doing deadlifts would keep the important muscles strong and in top condition, reduce your risk of getting injured, and boosting your strength in the process.


The deadlift is a big compound lift, so it helps to stimulate the production of testosterone and growth hormones in the body, and this would your bone density, making it easy for you to move around and stop being a couch potato.


The deadlift is a major exercise in any strength training routine, alongside bench press and barbell squat, and that’s because it comes in so many variations to activate different muscle groups at the same time. You would find out that, once you start deadlift, you would be able to understand why it is categorized as a strength builder because it would be relatively easy to move through the weights in no time.


The Proper Way to Deadlift


You can start by placing your feet on the floor and slightly bend your knees while you clutch the bar with both hands. Ensure that your hands are separated at least shoulder-width apart, as this would put more pressure on your muscles.


Here, you can decide to either grip the bar with a reverse grip or an overhand grip, whichever one works best for you. However, if you choose to use the reverse grip, you should be able to lift heavier weights than gripping the bar in an overhand grip.


Ensure that you before you lift the bar off the ground, that you squeeze it as hard as you can, most especially if you are going for heavyweights.


If you find yourself struggling to lift the bar off the ground, try using chalk, and if it doesn’t help, then you can use both the overhand and reverse grip on each hand. This would help you hold on tightly to the bar, while still allowing you to assume your proper form.


Make sure that your head is faced front or in a neutral position. Try to position your chin upwards, because this would make it unlikely for you to shift your head position.


While lifting the bar, keep your back fully straightened and your head forward. Ensure that you use your legs to raise the bar while pushing your hips forward.


Deadlift should be done in a swift and powerful movement, and you need to engage your legs and glutes for strength. Then you move upwards as powerful as possible.


You should strive to keep a strong spine from start to finish of the lift. To easily do this, you have to keep your chest upwards, to stop yourself from bending forward in the direction of the bar.


Keep your shoulders in front of your hands, until you have moved the bar passed your thigh level, and at this point, you want to take in your shoulder blades for a muscular torso.


Pull in your shoulders back upwards and gently put the bar on the floor.


Form Tips for Deadlift


The deadlift is one of the best moves for muscle building, as long as you are doing it right.


  1. Ensure Your Head is Kept Neutral


Try to keep your head neutral at all times during deadlift. You can easily achieve this by looking forward to a fixed spot on the ground; make sure that the spot is about 3 meters in front of your feet. Never put down your chin, as it is one of the best ways to ensure your head stays in its proper position.


  1. Keep Your Core Braced


When you are working with heavyweights, you need to make sure that your abs stay braced throughout the entire exercise so that you can keep your lower back arched and ensure that your whole body is built for strength.


From start to finish, you need to engage your core so that the pressure would remain fixed on your abs while you bend to grip the bar. When you are about to raise the bar from the floor, breathe in deeply, and hold your breath. While doing this, buckle up your abs hard as though you are about to receive a punch in your belly.


  1. Develop a Strong Grip


Position your thumbs on the beside the outer part of your thigh and keep moving down until they are on the bar, now this right here is the ideal way to position your hand while doing a deadlift.


Remember that for your grip, you are left with two options, an overhand or a reverse grip. Alternatively, you can opt for the mixed grip, but always interchange your hands at intervals to avoid muscular imbalances. Before lifting the bar off the ground, squeeze it as hard as you can, most especially if you are dealing with heavyweights.


  1. Think Chest and Shoulders


The goal is to keep a strong spine from the start to finish of this move but to achieve that; you need to position your chest upwards throughout. This would prevent you from bending over the bar, and compromising your form.


Keep in mind that your shoulder only has to be positioned slightly in front of your hands, until you raise the bar above your mid-thigh and at the point when you want to take back your shoulder blades for a strong torso.


  1. Move Explosively


When doing a deadlift, you have to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, so while assuming this stance, grip the bar with your hands positioned outside your legs. Raise the bar by pushing your hips forward, while still maintaining a straight back. Lower the bar to the floor in a slow and controlled pace. Although, when you start doing a deadlift with heavier weights, you can drop the bar on your final rep, you should be careful, so you don’t hurt yourself.


Deadlift Variations


  1. Trap Bar Deadlift

front squat form


This variation of a deadlift is commonly referred to as “hex bar deadlift” because of the bar’s hexagonal shape. Trap bar deadlift is a great version of the classic deadlift; because the side-on placement of the bar makes sure that you take back your shoulder blades and target your lats. This is a good move if you want to achieve fast strength gains with lesser pressure on your lower back because when working on other deadlift variations, gravity always pulls you backward.


  1. Romanian Deadlift


This variation of the deadlift is a bit different from the standard deadlift. To begin, you have to stand with the bar already in your hands and lower it slowly to the ground until you feel a little stretch in your hamstrings. This deadlift is perfect if you want to build your strength, flexibility, and control in your leg muscles. For the Romanian deadlift, you don’t need to use heavy weights before getting noticeable results, so it’s advisable to start light.


  1. Rack Pull Deadlift


If you consider the standard deadlift too challenging, then you can start by putting the weights on a rack. This is the best way to begin if you are unsure about your strength and don’t want too much strain on your lower back. When you are more confident, you can move on to other variations.